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Team Assignment 1 - Book Report/Review Example

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Leading law enforcement agencies like the Los Angeles Police Department have been publicly notorious for the use of excessive force against gangs, especially African…
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Team Assignment 1
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Team Assignment Racial Bias in Policing Admittedly, racial discrimination in not an uncommon problem in the history of United States law enforcement. Leading law enforcement agencies like the Los Angeles Police Department have been publicly notorious for the use of excessive force against gangs, especially African American gangs. However, racial discrimination in Los Angeles policing involves less racial biasness than perceived by the society. Actually, citizens seem to harbor more intense racial biasness compared to police officers. What is being misconstrued as racial bias in Los Angeles policing is technically the lack of fluency about African American communities by police officers (Diane, 2008). Apparently, inexperienced police officers have limited understanding on the magnitude of threat posed by gangs in African American communities. On the other hand, most members of poor African American communities perceive life a constant fight for survival. In this case, the manner in which gang members in underclass black communities reacts in the presence of law enforcement personnel make inexperienced police officers feel threatened, thus prematurely pulling their triggers in out of fear.
Unlike common citizens, police officers have fewer tendencies towards racial stereotyping. From an empirical perspective, common citizens perceive white gang criminals as being less dangerous compared to black criminals (Steven, 2013). However, police officers are less likely to misjudge a criminal by their skin color. What happens in Los Angeles communities is an example of a mismanaged police system. Los Angeles Police Department has decided to fight fire with fire. Gang intervention programs in the city have been supplemented with paramilitary combat capabilities (Diane, 2008). Gang task forces like the Special Weapons and Tactics, SWAT, are not only eager but also willing to use excessive force as a means of suppressing gang related violence. On the other hand, gangs are common in African American communities compared to other neighborhoods. In this regard, wide presence of gangs coupled with police brutality is often misunderstood as racial bias by the police.
Reference
Diane, L. (April 2008) Both Sides: Connie Rice Lays Down the Law to Cops and Gangs. The Sun, 388.
Steven, T. (2013) Racially Biased Policing: Determinants of Citizen Perceptions. Journal of Social Sciences,28 (3) 231-240. Read More
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